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  1. Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm working toward tapering off of 225 mg of venlafaxine. I am a 70 year old male, that has been very active and health conscious. My weakness has been depression. I previously had two periods of feeling depressed that involved obtaining an antidepressant from my general practice doctor. I would get to the point of feeling spacey and or lethargic, then do talk therapy to get back off of the drug. These where phase one antidepressants, and I would taper off slow over say 4 to 6 months without noticeable side effects. These events occurred between 2005 to 2008 per notes I still have. I retired from Highway Engineering March 1, 2014. Many emotional events piled upon me during the next five months. The stressors where; retiring and adjustment period, daughter coming home to live with us and get a divorce, a vicious son in law (being divorced), one or two other more minor stressors that I do not recall, and a huge spiritual crisis in which I felt I had not lived as graciously as God would have wanted me to. In July 2014 I became fixated on thinking about all these things. I sat in a stupor for days, lost 15 pounds, thought the devil was speaking and accusing me of my wrongs and tempted me to deny God and just die. My wife asked me If I had thought of suicide and I admitted that I had. She called 911 and got help. They took me to a hospital and put me on suicide watch till they could transfer me to a psych ward for treatment. I was confined for a week and given many medications. I also had a physical problem that they dealt with. I was released to an out-patient psychiatrist. The psychiatrist told me he would take me off all the previous medications except for increasing my dose of venlafaxine to 225 mg. I have been on venlafaxine for four (4) years. In May 2018 I stopped drinking all alcohol and also stopped experimenting with legalized cannabis. I quickly felt a bit more energy. I put this energy toward searching the internet for information about venlafaxine and antidepressants. I have learned much, but still want to keep learning. My Psychiatris agreed to allow me to get off Venlafaxine October 4, 2017, after telling him repeatedly about my desire to and why. He reduced my venlafaxine from 225 mg to 150 mg. The short of it is that I did not make it, and went back to the full dose. After learning more about how to decrease slowly, I am ready to try again. I have sought the help of my general practice doctor, who is supportive and has reduced me to 187.5 mg. Since I know that a 10% reduction is better, I cut open a 37.5 mg capsule, counted the beads, and took 40% of those beads, 15, and added them to the 187.5 mg, for a new total of 202.5 mg. I'm also taking daily notes of my physical and mental state, and dosage. I will see my general practice doctor monthly. I will be also talking to my Psychiatrist about my plans. I plan to start talk therapy also. Does anyone have any advise or comments?
  2. Chlo

    Chlo

    HarperValley •Celexa 40mg 1999-2021 •COVID August 2021 •Celexa stopped working •Zoloft 100mg Sept.-Oct. •Zoloft did not work •Lexapro 10mg Oct.-Nov. •Lexapro did not work •Lexapro 5mg Nov- current •Mirtazapine 15mg at night Oct-current •Current supplements: B12, Magnesium Glycinate, Ashwagandha, Multivitamin, C, D3, Nac, CoQ10, CBD. No longer seeing a Psychiatrist, I am seeing a Holistic doctor now.. She will start my taper of Lexapro 5mg. mid January. I have severe anxiety and depression with panic attacks. Being that I'm treatment resistant will i continue to have withdrawals throughout my taper? Also..will my withdrawals ease up with lesser & lesser tapers? Or will withdrawals be my new norm? I have been having withdrawals since Covid in August 2021 because of my resistance to antidepressant. Also having phantom smell of burning ash tray.
  3. Hello all, After some misplaced reluctance to create an account and my own thread, my anxiety is skyrocketing and this is the only way I can think of calming it. I took Sertraline for a single day (did not like how it made me feel + worsened hyperactivity) back in late August/early September, what followed in the next few weeks was an onslaught of generalised anxiety along with anxiety attacks. This was new for me. A week after returning to University in mid-September I experienced ‘flu-like’ symptoms, an all-consuming fatigue, malaise, brain fog, and depression (of which I assumed was caused by these feelings). Due to the increased anxiety I had been experiencing since that one tablet I took in late August, I decided to try the Sertraline again in hope that I could ride out it’s initial symptoms and find my feet and mind again. The week in Sertraline whilst plagued with poor concentration and short-term memory, was blissful to say the least, I even text my mum exclaiming, ‘I haven’t felt this good since I was ten!’; meaning that I hadn’t a care in the world; I felt free again. Because of my work-load at university, I felt like it was best to stop the Sertraline as it was making it hard for me to spell, think creatively, and empathise with my newly formed girlfriend. After the abrupt stop (I wouldn’t call it a ‘cold-turkey’ as was only a single week, I may be naive however in saying this. Please correct me if I’m wrong) I felt okay, able to work, excitable if not a little too excitable, but the general feeling was that within a week, I’d be me again. Two weeks after stopping the five consecutive doses of sertraline, I noticed that I was gradually feeling more and more spaced out with every day that passed until it morphed into full-blown depersonalisation. I felt disconnected, empty, like I was high in caffeine 24/7, or even flying through a dream would be an accurate tell of its qualities. This continued, while getting better slightly with each day passed for just under a month, it’s hopefully subsided. During this period I had tunnel vision, everything seemed blurry and I felt dizzy when out and about/stressful or anxious places. I had what I believe is called aphasia, understanding was fine, I just couldn’t work or produce literature to save my life. My concentration/attention span had disappeared, I couldn’t read articles let alone absorb any of their information. The blurry vision has gone, but has been replaced with an ever so slight static or I’ve seen it being called a ‘haze’, only really noticeable in the dark. My vision seems darker than it was before and I guess ‘not right’, it does seemed to have improved by a smidgen though. Whilst I wouldn’t say that I’m still depersonalised, I still feel a little detached from my surroundings, this can fluctuate in some circumstances, and almost disappear in some. I have double vision that only comes on in the night (early morning), light trails that become worse the longer I stay up at night for. Street lights also produce a horrible glare, this can return to normal levels when not stressed, but if I’m with someone who provokes this, or start worrying + looking for it everywhere, it can become much worse with even entering a shop becoming a behemoth if a task. I am also plagued with a low-frequency tinnitus, sounds sort of like steam, or a quiet tv static. This condition is all I’ve been able to think about since I’ve had it, the anxiety has ramped up, along with my emotions in the past two weeks and I’ve just been unable to function. This has all been accompanied by a slight brain fog and when stressed, pressure in my eyes and head (the feeling of pressure has got a lot better, almost non-existent now). Is there anyone out there with these symptoms who’ve seen them subside/go away? I’ve read online about visual snow and I’m terrified that this isn’t going to get better. I feel like I’ve ruined my life and feel that I’m stuck, dependent on my mum. I’m even worrying about what will happen to me once she has passed. Im really worried that this is going to be my new baseline. Thank you all for this amazing site, Icip.
  4. It is so gratifying to see psychiatry held accountable. Thank you Ang, Horowitz, and Moncrieff for not letting psychiatry off the hook! * Is the chemical imbalance an ‘urban legend’? An exploration of the status of the serotonin theory of depression in the scientific literature by Benjamin Ang, Mark Horowitz, Joanna Moncrieff Received 23 November 2021, Revised 26 March 2022, Accepted 9 April 2022, Available online 18 April 2022, Version of Record 25 April 2022. Link to full article, available for free: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S266656032200038X?via%3Dihub#bib14 * Abstract The theory that depression is caused by a serotonin abnormality or other chemical imbalance has become widely accepted by the public and is one prominent justification for the use of antidepressants. However, it has been increasingly questioned and there is little evidence it has empirical support. In response, leading psychiatrists suggested it was an ‘urban legend’ that was never taken seriously by the psychiatric profession. To interrogate these claims, we examined the coverage of the serotonin theory of depression in a sample of highly cited and influential academic literature from 1990, when the theory started to be popularized, to 2010 when these responses were articulated. We analysed 30 highly cited reviews of the aetiology of depression in general, 30 highly cited papers on depression and serotonin specifically and a sample of influential textbooks. The majority of the aetiology reviews supported the hypothesis, including some that were entirely devoted to describing research on the serotonin system, and those that reviewed the aetiology of depression more broadly. Research papers on the serotonin system in depression were highly cited and most of them strongly supported the serotonin theory. All textbooks supported the theory, at least in some sections, and devoted substantial coverage to it, although some also acknowledged it remained provisional. The findings suggest that the serotonin theory was endorsed by the professional and academic community. The theory is compared to an exhausted Kuhnian paradigm with professional equivocation about it acting as a means of defending it against encroaching criticism. The analysis suggests that, despite protestations to the contrary, the profession bears some responsibility for the propagation of a theory that has little empirical support and the mass antidepressant prescribing it has inspired. *
  5. Anybody had any experience with this controversial therapy, good or bad?
  6. I posted these in a thread but only one person has downloaded them according to the stats so i wanted to give better access to them because they're really very helpful to me and I know they've been helpful to a lot of other folks in withdrawal too. I have a set of CDs that have simply at times worked wonders allowing me to rest, if not sleep. These tracks are no longer available for sale so I uploaded them that you might be able to use them too. See what you think. These are actually a very expensive set of highly technological sound science...the company went out of business, but I think not for lack of quality, but instead poor marketing. The first 3 tracks are the first CD...they are the beginning...and you're supposed to work your way up...I found that it was really like that...where I didn't even tolerate the others for a long time. Of note: when my nervous system was most deeply fried, even these Tracks irritated me. It took a couple of years before I tolerated them. Most people, however, find them helpful long before I did. I know several people who really like them. We’ve done some passing around of them among ourselves in benzo withdrawal circles. The first three tracks were my favorites for a long time but now I've moved on to the others too...the first three are the gentlest and for a long time were the ones that worked best...now with more resilience I like them all...they all do different things. I sometimes just listen to them on a loop for hours. It’s good for relaxing any time of the day and it can also help me meditate when the chaos in my autonomic system is too loud to manage without the CDs. Mod Note: The Previous Links No Longer Worked, so I have supplied a link to similar sound tracks, which are also posted in a future post in this thread. http://beyondmeds.com/2013/03/05/soothing-healing-sound/ VERY IMPORTANT -- USE HEADPHONES they're really fantastic and now they're free...
  7. Hello everyone,❤️ I am a 36 year old male. Today I will be sharing my journey through withdrawing my over 20 years use of Effexor xr 150mg. I was first giving Effexor for depression caused by a separation anxiety. This was during my high school years wile I struggled with feelings of social phobia. Effexor seemed to blunt just about any fears and anxiety I had for a number of years but as time went on more and more side effects emerged some very scary. I tollirated most of sides just from the fear of withdrawal. I had previously had failed at least 3 failed attempts and one cold turkey in 2003 for 6 months unaware of what was happening to me both physically and mentally. Doctors were clueless and just represcibed the Effexor after that 6 month ordeal indefinitely. Fast foward 2016 a had gone under a few surgical procedures for a lumbar disc herniation with the last two resulting in a fusion. Around that time 2017 2018 I was having more and more increasing side effects from effexor and felt it was no longer working. I would have exercise intolerance,moments of narcolepsy type episode's, increased nerve pain. Visual snow, poor circulation diagnosed as Reynolds syndrome and more. I decided to seek help in disscontinuing effexor and was given an option to try to reduce from 150mg to 115.5mg immediately regretted as I could not drive my vision was on a rolorcoaster and I was having moments of just needing to pass out. So I went back to 150mg. Fast forward a few weeks my physciatrist introduced zoloft at a low dose and had me try again. At this time I was determined to muscle through. During a six month cross taper to zoloft max 100mg dose. My Final dose 37.5mg of effexor was February 20, 2020 and the withdrawl have been dibilitating waves and windows ever since. Lost job, home and hoping to keep my family around. Things seemed to have gone terribly wrong on July 12, 2020. On June 13, 2020 i dropped the zoloft to 50mg. One month later I was hit with an inability to walk or maintain any strength. I decided that day to updose back to 100mg zoloft. The days that followed were complete hell and multiple ER visits. Parkasins symptoms bobbing head neck weakness studdering speech spastic gait, spine spasticity, calf muscle cramp and faciculationts just a nightmare. One of the last ER visits left me with a diagnosis of post lateral sclerosis to be determined I guess because most my weakness was in my left side. New medications added since July included 5mg Valium twice per day and 2mg tizanadine or Zanaflex 3x a day I reduced two weeks later to only 2 times a day for the sake of staying awake. I have been bedridden since July after that episode. Waves and windows still apparent but very much less because of all the other medications. Psychiatrist is continuing the withdrawal plan keeping the other medication to reduce symptoms. She feels I may have had an adverse reaction or serotonin syndrome. Holding on to hope and my faith you guys are not alone 🙏 ❤ Present Dosing Regimen: Oct 9 [v] 7am 50mg Zoloft 5mg Valium [v] 12pm 5mg Valium (v] 3pm 1mg Zanaflex( mod. note- tizanidine, muscle relaxant) [v] 8pm 2mg Zanaflex Effexor Xr 150mg for 22years, discontinued from 37.5 mg February 2020 Discontinued because of Increasing side effects - Anhedonia. Blurry vision, exercise intolerance, weird adrenal fatigue episodes, increased anxiety, left sided weakness extending to feet, increased nerve pain, weird zoom Out episodes.
  8. Hi guysI'm new here. I'm a 33 year old female from the UK.I was diagnosed with depression when I was 19, and went through a couple of different anti-depressants, before settling on Venlafaxine. I took 225mg per day. I've quite small (only 5'1) so I was told that was the highest I should go to. I also used to have social anxiety, mild OCD behavior, and was very 'snappy' and moody, but depression was the main problem. I'd had all these problems since about age 12.Around the same time as that diagnosis, I was diagnosed with Reactive Hypoglycaemia, which I now control through diet, but vastly affects my mood when my blood sugar levels get low. It's pretty much under control now through a strict diet and regular eating, except for about one day a month when my hormones affect it.14 years has passed and I started to think that maybe my problem had always mainly been the hypoglycaemia rather than true depression. I've seen a lot of doctors about the hypo and they all have very little knowledge about it - I would end up explaining it to them! - and they don't seem to understand how much it affects my mental state. I'd avoided attempting to come off the meds for a long time as I've heard horror stories, but I tapered them very slowly since the end of November last year, and stopped taking them around the end of May this year.My depression seemed fine, everything seemed fine. I was the same me as ever, and proud of myself.But the last few weeks...stupidly I didn't write down the exact date I stopped them - but maybe a week or two later, I'm not sure, I started feeling anxiety gradually building. It's so hard to know to what extent outside life affects it, but all I know is that I have a knot of anxiety in my stomach, and feeling so on edge is making me snap at my loved ones so much. I'm feeling really fragile, wanting to cry a lot, and this anxiety is driving me mad.So my questions are, is this my brain readjusting to living without chemicals, is this likely to get better?Or is this just how I am... do you think I need to go back on a low dose of the meds?I was so pleased with myself doing so well coming off them, but I'm finding life such a struggle right now. If I know there's an end to this anxiety I can struggle through, but how long do I want until I know if this is just how I am? I'm so tempted to just start them again, but it would be such a shame if this is just a withdrawal symptom.Advice really appreciated. Thanks for reading.
  9. I have been on Sertraline (Zoloft) over the last 11 years. These were prescribed by a physician in an effort to treat my GAD/panic condition caused from high stress levels in college. Prescribed within a 10 minute appointment. I was 20 years old. And with no information on how long to take it or how to stop taking it. "Take this, it will help." The medication seemed to work OK for a few years. However, my experience over the last 2.5 years on this medication and with the psychiatry system has been a complete mess. My symptoms of anxiety (and the addition of depression) were exacerbated with many new symptoms and side effects: heightened anxiety, suicidal ideations, uncontrollable movements, cognitive impairment, and many others. I continued to speak to my psychiatrist about all these symptoms and my deep sense that we were on the wrong track. In fact I showed up in tears to the office. I was told I needed to increase my dosage, as I had more than likely become tolerant to my current dose. So as a good patient would, I listened to my doctor’s recommendation- increase from 50mg to 100mg. I increased to 75mg, had a follow-up appointment and relayed that I was feeling ‘OK’, but not great. So, I threw out an idea. How about this? Since increasing isn’t making me “better”, I’m going to reduce and taper off. Do the opposite. My psychiatrist was hesitant, but agreed if I wanted to take that journey then she’d support my decision and want me to continue check-ins. Was I given any advice or direction from the psychiatrist on tapering? Not really. I researched myself. I read many testimonials and clinical trials about the challenges of tapering off medications. I was ready for what I thought might be a very bumpy ride and determined I would decrease slowly over many months. I made myself a plan. Make a reduction every 6-8 weeks, so I have time to acclimate in between reductions. So I did just that. I also journaled my symptoms- physical, mental and emotional feelings daily. It wasn’t a fun process (def had some issues), but it wasn’t all that terrible. The added global pandemic definitely did not help the situation (super great time to come off medication). My last dose taken May 31, 2020. Six weeks go by and I’m doing pretty good. THEN, like a freight train, I’m hit with delayed post withdrawal. The most horrendous physical, mental and emotional pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. Nerve shocks, body aches, headaches, cognitive disorientation, tremors, severe insomnia, panic, crying spells, chest pain, no appetite, extreme anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation. Things I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Overall I lost 10 pounds. I cried every day. The insomnia got so bad (only slept 2 hrs each night), I was put on Trazodone for a short period. I was in a tailspin. I felt so alone. This lasted a very long 3 weeks. And honestly without my support system, this forum, and my stubborn attitude I don’t think I would have gotten through it. After those 3 weeks, I could feel myself getting closer to the surface again. I still struggled, but each day got a little better. A little more healed. Symptoms still lingered, but things were subsiding slowly. My body working out the kinks. I started feeling real improvements and larger windows at the 6 month mark. Still some bumps in the road, the occasional stress induced anxiety symptoms, but overall better. Every day got a little brighter. I now genuinely know the medication was the culprit in making me ill- inflaming all of my anxieties. Today I have been 1 year 3 months without any medication. Last dose taken on May 31, 2020. I can wholeheartedly tell you it does get better. I feel the best I’ve felt in years. My symptoms have all subsided. I still have general anxiety, but it is very minor in comparison to being on the medication. I have learned so much about myself, my strength and the coping mechanisms/exercises that work for me. And I’m still healing. Everyone’s story and timeline is different, however I hope sharing my experience gives you hope. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You can and will weather the storm and get through this journey. You may not see it now, but there is an end in sight. And it’s beautiful. Keep going. **On a personal note, THANK YOU to those of you that have also shared your experiences on this forum, as this undoubtedly helped me hang on during my journey of tapering and withdrawal.** XX Amber
  10. Greetings everyone! I'm hoping for some advice from my fellow members. I've been on Zoloft (50 mg) for 20+ years for depression. I tried getting off Zoloft twice during the past 5 years due to zombification (I was no longer crying or laughing) but both times experienced brain zaps and severe depression during the taper. (As an aside, my primary care physician, who knew I was tapering, told me to undergo a brain MRI because of the brain zaps. Neither of us realized the brain zaps were from the SSRI discontinuation.) Ten months ago, I decided to try to get off the poison once again. I've been tapering more slowly and am now down to ~10 mg/day but am feeling depressed again. No brain zaps this time. I take magnesium, fish oil, Vitamins B, C, and D. A week or so ago I started taking 5-HTP 100 mg at night to help boost my serotonin level now that I'm on a very low dose of Zoloft. Unfortunately, I'm now also experiencing acute anxiety, which I've never had before. Has anyone else experienced new onset anxiety either during SSRI withdrawal or from 5-HTP? I'm determined to succeed this time but am struggling immensely with crippling anxiety. I'm looking forward to death. Any help, including supplement or diet recommendation, would be greatly appreciated.
  11. I was put on 20mg of Seroxat in May 1996 (directly after two weeks of Valium). I was 19 years old. Prescription was for Panic Disorder, GAD and Mild Depression (although I had never felt depressed and explained that many times over the years to my doctor(s)). As were many, I was told I had a chemical balance which, just like a diabetic needs insulin, I needed seroxat. Since then, I have tried approximately 5 times to come off the medication (with taper of sorts - usually 10mg for a few weeks and then to zero). Each time, the anxiety came back, always with new symptoms (extreme nausea, vertigo, increased anxiety, obsessive dark thoughts). I also developed irrational fears (fear of driving on highways and over bridges, fear of ski lifts, fear of heights, fear of flying, fear of business meetings. In fact, pretty much fear of everything.). Each time I visited a doctor, I was told the same thing: you have a chemical imbalance and need to go back on Seroxat. Sure enough, a single tablet would have me feeling back to “normal” within a matter of hours. I used to joke about it with doctors “wow, what a placebo effect. This should take weeks to work?”. Now I realise I was (probably) in withdrawal. Two years ago, after being in a protracted depression for the best part of 10 years (something I hadn’t realised as it had become my baseline state), I had got myself down to approximately 7mg a day. The reason I was trying to come off was two fold: firstly, my wife and I wanted to start a family and I was concerned about both my fertility and damage to any baby I conceive. Secondly, I had made a huge effort to get fit, was running 40km a week and had dropped from 92kg to 78kg-I’m 178cm. This gave me the confidence that I was in the best physical place to achieve it. Soon after, I suffered what I considered to be a mental breakdown. I was ready to leave my loving wife and had developed a clinical apathy to everything. I became petrified I would commit suicide (I never felt this was realistic but the thought of it gave me panic attacks). Furthermore, I started wondering such thoughts as “will I jump off the balcony whilst sleep walking”. I had been seeing a psychologist for some time but talking about things seemed to make the situation worse. I also started seeing a CBT therapist. I would feel better during a session but on leaving, my mood would severely crash, like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. I knew I was in a bad place. The psychologist recommended me to a psychiatrist who was the most uncaring person I have ever met. How she medically practices, I have no idea. She wasn’t interested in my drug history, offered me barely five minutes of her time, and prescribed 50mg Trittico to be taken before bed. I took it for a few nights but decided that it was not right for me. She then offered me several other kinds of SSRIs. I declined them all and went back to 20mg of Seroxat. However, this time felt different. I was sure that seroxat was nothing more than the placebo (how could you explain the fact I got better after taking a single favor each time I had a “relapse”. As suspected, i had lost belief in the drug, and it did not bring the immediate relief like it had every time previously. I was petrified. To me, this confirmed my worse fears. It had been a placebo all this time, and now, because I was sure it wasn’t going to work, it didn’t. I was a lost case. This created severe anxiety and panic. All I could think was that I had been on a placebo for 20 + years and now I had uncovered this fact, ADs would never work for me again. I was destined to suffer dibilitating anxiety and depression for the rest of my life. Things improved slightly after being back on 20mg for a few weeks. But I was still anxious and depressed, and the mood swings were unbareable. During this time, i had had a medical for my work which showed I had very high cholesterol (7.99 in European measures) and the doctor put me on Crestor. At the time, the cardiologist told me “this is not the first time I have seen somebody at the surgery who has unusually high cholesterol following a long period of exposure to SSRIs”. This was the first time I considered what the meds had been doing to me over the years. My dark moods seemed to get worse during this period of being on Crestor. My cholesterol dropped by 50% in this time, but I could now barely function. I did some research into the link between statins and depression and decided to quit the Crestor cold turkey. My moods improved somewhat (at least I could hold a conversation now). I had also started to suffer from eczema on my arms, forehead and legs (first time in my life). Furthermore, I suffered from a bout of Diverticulitis (the doctor told me the main risk factor was constipaiton) and also blood in the urine (which after every test, scan, x-ray known to man, a cause could not be found). Further research made me realise that not only could all of these problems be linked to seroxat, so could my unexplained depression and mood swings. I made the decision to come off seroxat for good. That was in October of last year. I found a new psychiatrist who was supportive of my decision and recognized the importance of taper. However, he didn’t believe that my problems could be caused by seroxat, and thought taper over a month was perfectly acceptable. By this time, I had been on seroxat 22 years. I decided to taper for longer. I immediately dropped to 10mg per day as this is something that I had down many times throughout the years without too many problems. I would get the usual brain zaps but nothing I couldn’t handle. As I started to reduce mg by mg (1mg per week) using liquid, I could actually feel my constant depressive mood lifting somewhat (perhaps only by 10%, but there was something ). This encouraged me to go on. I sped up towards the end to 1mg per week as I just wanted to be off it. I took my last dose in the second week of January. Since then, I have been going through withdrawal. The first couple of weeks were ok (brain zaps I have suffered since 1996 so they don’t scare me). My general depressive level definitely improved. The hardest part for me was (and still is) the rapid onset of change in mood. One minute I am fine, the next my mood crashes. During every crash, I immediately think “the only reason I feel better is the placebo effect. The depression and anxiety is going to come back and get me”. CBT has helped with this catestrophic thinking and the moods seem to only last for a few hours (rather than days or weeks as previously). Every week, as a whole, I am seeing huge improvements. I have cried a lot (and it feels great). I am starting to look forward to things again. The apathy has lifted by 75%. I had a few days of panic and GAD earlier on that would seem to come out of nowhere. I would just wake up and feel down and have fear. I also started to wake during the night in a panic. But I stayed with it. A few weeks ago, I started waking more often during the night. 3 or 4 times. That developed into full blown insomnia for a few days. Last night, I slept without waking once for the first time in a month. The anxiety is now 75% better. Two days ago, I feel I had my best day for years and years. I am generally excited but scared. Since January, I have dropped from 86kg to 78kg. My skin condition has totally cleared up. What if me feeling better is a coincidence? Or the placebo effect? I have read that it can feel you are through the withdrawal, only for it to come back even harder in the future. How will I cope with that!? Now that I’ve felt well, I don’t want to go back where I was. I currently live in Zurich, Switzerland. I can find almost no support here. No doctor, psychologists, psychiatrist or therapist seems to have any idea about withdrawal. They are all desperate to tell me I have relapsed. I so truly want to believe they are wrong, that this whole thing is a drug induced nightmare, and that I will continue to get better. However, the devil on my shoulder is still there. During any period of weakness, he reminds me that the recovery is all in my head and it’s only a matter of time before I relapse. And so here I am. Hoping to be part of a support group that can help me with my withdrawal and keep me believeing. Even more importantly, I want to help others.
  12. Hello everyone, i am in need of dire help, my life is on a razor's edge at the moment. I have had depression for the majority of my life but as of today im on the cusp of my depression leading me to the worst situation i have ever been in. I am 34 years old and this post is about my most recent experience on the ssri escitalopram. I had suffered from a delibating traumatic experience which lead me from one hellish experience to another. It started with me experiencing a concussion march 2019 which spiraled me into post concussion syndrome and consequently worstening depression poor concdntration etc i avoided ssris and fast forward 8 months later nov 2019 i lost my 5 month old puppy who was my support dog for my post concussion syndrome to a deadly virus called parvo. I was in a strong depression afterward and my mother who is a psychiatrist prescribed me escitalopram 2.5 and ativan.5 . After my puppy died i could not even leave my room i was crying everyday. I could not function and i felt at that point that even though i was against any ssris i would take the escitalopram. Against my better judgement i took it the first couple weeks i had increased anxiety but slowly i began to function better and my crying spells and s thoughts diminished. I had began to regain my confidence a month in and met new friends. I had upped the doseage to 10mg and was on 10 mg until sept 2020 where i began to wean off until Nov 2020 because i felt like the escitalopram was just making me feel nothing and i was becomimg more arrogant and egotistical almost maniacal which wasnt myself I weaned off completely by Nov 2020 with little to no withdrawal symptoms. I felt like i wasnt very happy but i also wasnt very sad more like in the middle with slight ups and downs. Fast forward to March 2021 i was in a rocky relationship which was making my moods and emotions unstable i began to feel more irritable i wasnt enjoying life as much i was when on the escitalopram. I started having more insomnia, began to feel a little more depressed by april 2021 i had contemplated reinstating escitalopram this was the worst decision of my life i looked down at the bottle and instead of contacting my mom i simply decided to take 10 mg from the beginning for 5 days then upped the dose to 20mg what followed is a nightmare im still living in today. When i felt the escitalopram was making me feel sad uneasy i contacted my mother she told me i could not start from 10 then go to 20mg and that i should stop now. After i stopped cold turkey i began having the withdrawals within 2 days of stopping everyday for 4 months. Started with the flu like symptoms for 2 days then the massive headaches, short term memory loss, dizziness,inability to concentrate, massive insomnia,rage anger, derealization, for 2 months after the headaches,dizziness went away came the massive emotional instability,crying everyday,s thoughts and attempts, waking up with complete terror, very deep dark thoughts in the random times of the day, body aches felt like my body was itching for a drug burning like fire ants all over it. Fast forward now its been 4 + months my previous withdrawals like headaches,dizziness,rage,insomnia have went away now i have extreme depression s thoughts everyday, ocd, dysphoria,dont want to do anything but stay in my room, im like a child who needs babysitting just to keep me from doing something stupid like the s thoughts and urges. I have read on here that reinstating can be an option. I feel like my brain chemistry has been altered to a point where im now dependent on psychiatric drugs. Before this i never had such strong urges and thoughts for self harm. I had depression but i wasnt this unstable now i feel like im very close to the end. I read that reinstating at >1mg of the original ssri taken can provide relief i have done this before during the withdrawal symptom stage at 2.5mg and it made my brain feel "numb" and my symptoms even worst so i quit about 4 days in. Im now trying 1mg this has been my second day trying. I believe im now in the stage where im post withdrawal and depression has returned to worst levels than before due to stopping cold turkey. Im taking daily video diaries to see how im doing. 1st day i took it at night and noticed a slight improvement in mood, dreams were extremely vivid and strange woke up in the middle of the night went back to sleep hour later after taking unisom sleep pills. Woke up with body anxiety took 750mg of gaba was relieved of anxiety. Then first half of the day i noticed colors were brighter and mood was slightly increased. Then a couple hours i had a hard crash bad deep dark thoughts, traumatic memories, s thoughts and urges same sadness. Took another >1mg followed by .5 klonopin fell asleep 2 hours woke up heavy drowsy still feeling sad. Then hour in i noticed improvement most likely klonopin its the only thing i used before that helps but i never take a half pill a week because im terrified of benzo dependence/withdrawal. Today is my second day on >1mg of escitalopram i woke up with diminished s thoughts. My question is this me restarting the escitalopram a good idea and how long should i stay on it lets say if this does actually work and will my s thoughts be there forever because they are so strong i want to admit myself to the psych ward but am afraid they will put me on more drugs. I feel so hopeless at this point. Ive been taking every supplement i could find throughout the withdrawals. If i had just known to retake the the 10mg of escitalopram during the first few days of withdrawals i believe i would have never gotten to this point.
  13. I suffer from mental and emotional dullness after using depression and delirium medications, so that I used intermittently and for a short period of time, ecitalopram and arpiprazole. I do not feel the same as my previous feelings. Please help me from someone who has experience on how to get rid of these symptoms, especially the problem of concentration and forgetfulness. Thank you very much.
  14. Hi everybody. I just signed up. I know enough about depression to fill a book. I think I'm finally putting everything together after dealing with this monster for over half of my life (I'm 51). It took a whole lot of research and my dad getting diagnosed with cancer to push me into into enough pain that I figured out I needed to talk to my depression to beat it. Once I got that ball rolling, things started making sense. Then, I discovered tardive dysphoria, or oppositional tolerance - which is basically your brain on psych drugs = a pathological syndrome. So, here I am. I felt like a zombie. I couldn't think straight. My memory was shot. My emotions were numb. Now I'm down 75 mg on my mood stabilizer. I feel better. I feel like a slowly waking zombie. I feel more stable than I did before I started tapering down. My moods were totally erratic. I couldn't predict a darn thing. I was blowing up a customers for no dang reason! So, I think I became depressed because I am a perfectionist. It is a family thing. Well, it is kind of a human thing. Problem is, if you have an idea or a plan and it doesn't work out, you get bummed. If you are a "highly sensitive person" you get really, really bummed. I was a really sensitive kid. I cried about everything. My feelings got hurt easily. I was introverted, shy, got bullied, the whole tortured soul thing. I was a really sweet kid who would do anything to make anyone happy. Problem was, I let people take advantage of me. Eventually that catches up with you. I was wondering if anyone had a similar background, who knows how to just..... let go of being perfect? Especially how to get something else, like Mom, to let go? I adore my mom...... but we're having a rough go of it right now. We are both still grieving the loss of my dad. I'm withdrawing, she knows that, and we are having a horrible time communicating. I asked her to go to counseling. On her own, or with me. My brother is actually a psychologist. Nope. She won't go. I'm going, of course. I've been in an out of therapy for the last 25 years. Mostly in therapy. So as usual, I get to figure this out. It took me a really long time to figure my crap out but I'm hoping maybe I finally did.
  15. Just doing my intro post - I've been diagnosed as having treatment resistant depression and have accepted now that any beneficial effects of the venlafaxine I've been on since January 2009 have ended. I also have some pretty debilitating anxiety disorders - both a mix of genetics (several members of my family have depression too) and life experience of childhood trauma from an abusive parent and bullying throughout school. The doctor has started my tapering with a month of taking 300mg (normal dose) one day, then 225mg the next, then 300mg again, etc. I've been referred to a new psychiatrist so hopefully we can talk more about withdrawing safely. I've been pretty sad lately, so it's kind of a miracle I managed to get to the doctor at all. So far, my withdrawal symptoms have been limited to bad dreams and stomach/gut pains - I know from past idiocy where I forgot to get prescriptions filled in time that diarrhoea is one of the fun side effects of WD, so I think that may be next. Or the sweating. The worst bit, though, is the dreams. They're really intense and horrible, and trigger my anxiety. It's like the drugs are angry I'm coming off them, and know all my buttons to press... or maybe these thoughts are always there and the lack of drug is just exposing them. Anyway, I'm also seeing a psychotherapist who is lovely, so I have an outlet once a week, and my best friend knows I'm doing this, too, and has offered her support. Sending you all love, peace and puppies x
  16. Hello everyone, It feels good to discover this site - thank you all for being here. Right now I've run out of everything, my depression has swamped me, I'm exhausted. Doc queried increasing meds, I said no. I realise this would be a silly time to start coming off them, and I'm not thinking of doing that, but the need to stop meds is always in my head. I want to know everything I can about it, especially how to know when to start decreasing. My husband, who is beautifully supportive of me in every other way, is sure that the possible upheaval would be too much for our family. I worry about that too.
  17. Hey everyone, My name is Abby and I have been off Prozac for 3.5 months now. I'm currently experiencing intense withdrawal and the return of mental states I never thought I'd have to experience again, and I would really like to connect with others who are going through similar during this long, difficult process. Background info: I always had tendencies towards anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder (the Pure-Obsessional variety) since childhood. At 16 these symptoms very rapidly became so severe my whole life fell apart within a matter of days (Going on the contraceptive pill at this time may have been a contributing factor). I didn't have a full breakdown until I was 18, at which point I was taken to the doctor, put on Sertraline, and referred to psychiatry. The following 8 years consisted of several psychiatric admissions, different drugs including clomipramine, seroquel, mirtazipine, prozac, and possibly a few others for shorter periods. I lost pretty much everything, my obsessional fears were so strong that I attempted suicide more than once, developed a bad cocaine/mephadrone habit, was a constant worry to my family. There were times, however, where the medication would help a lot. At 60mg of Prozac I went through some periods of being functional - I went to work, got into a relationship etc. These were a great relief but I can't say I was truly happy as the fears were never properly dealt with. My last hospital admission was in 2014 when I was 24. I had attempted to come off medication as I believed I had to deal with the underlying problems, and I hated the weight gain side effects. Looking back, this was doomed to fail as I was still using cocaine regularly, drinking a lot, and didn't have any proper support mechanisms in place. I was fine for 6 months then crashed, was borderline psychotic with the OCD symptoms, depressed and anxious beyond belief and desperately wanted to die (and believed I deserved to). I was in a psych ward for just over 2 months before new meds kicked in - clompipramine and (randomly, I don't know why) Epilum, as I was told it 'balanced moods'. A year later I went back on to old faithful Prozac and also came off the contraceptive pill. I had always been told the same about it, that it leveled out moods, and don;t think it's a coincidence that my symptoms became much more manageable a few months after stopping it. I then managed to stay at 40mg for 2 years and my life changed drastically for the better. to myself and everyone around me it was like a miraculous recovery - I stopped taking drugs, began volunteering at a Buddhist meditation centre, got my dream job, published a novel, did newspaper interviews about my experiences, ...I pretty much had my dream life. It was like being reborn after thinking everything was all over...forever. It was in January 2017 that I decided to gradually wean off Prozac. Over the following 10 months I reduced until stopping completely in October. In these past 2 years I have done extensive mind training and spiritual exploration, which has probably been the main factor in this recovery. My life is pretty much dedicated to this practice now - I still volunteer at the meditation centre, go on meditation retreats throughout the year, and have also completed a Reiki Mastership. It was always potentially on the cards after exploring my mind with psychedelic drugs in the past, doing past life regressions and also taking Ayahuasca twice in ceremonies. It was around the time of the reiki mastership that I was weaning off the last of the Prozac. Things became challenging - but at first I welcomed it. I was in a strong place mentally, and my mental health hadn't plagued me intensely for a few years. I was made aware that the Reiki energy can churn things up to be healed, but I think that the combination of this, a massive flare up of a back issue that left me not able to walk for weeks, family pressures and intensive mind exploration during retreat that has led me to my current situation. Since December just passed things have been incredibly difficult. I have experienced a return of old OCD obsessions, to the point where I've had panic attacks for days that made my vision blur, heavy depression, crying all the time, existential fears and experiences which medically would look similar to psychosis (although I believe that term can pathologize important and natural inner processes), identity confusion etc. I knew it would be hard, I just never expected to feel this level of horror ever again. Having said that, I know things are different this time round - I have a level of insight gained through spiritual practice that is keeping me going. Energetically, I'm aware that I am creating this reality on various levels, and that I need to relax as much as possible to allow it to pass through the way it's supposed to. I'm no stranger to facing the darkest parts of the psyche, but it's still terrifying and I'm struggling to cope day to day. To make matters worse, my Mum has gone abroad for cancer treatment and I'm now caring for my little brother and sister 4 days a week which is incredibly stressful (I'm used to having my own space and being able to retreat when I need to). My CBT therapist has discharged me as she feels I cannot engage with therapy under this amount of stress, but encouraged me to come back when my Mum gets back. To be fair, she never taught me anything I didn't naturally learn in meditation and I was only seeing her regularly to comply with services. I have however started going for reiki treatments with the person who facilitated the course I was on last year - he is exceptionally intuitive, knowledgeable and takes an all round, individual approach. One session with him last week was worth a year of 'traditional' therapy. So I'm hoping that continuing with this will help. Anyway, sorry for the essay. I don't have many people to talk to about all this. It's also weird for me to ask for help now as I haven't needed it in so long - I'm usually now the one that helps everyone else. It's a scary and heartbreaking thing to go back to a place you thought you'd left long in the past, but I do believe deep down that I have done so in order to face my demons fully and emerge stronger in the long run. Thank you if you made it this far, I'm looking forward to connecting with others on this site. You are all incredibly strong to be doing what you're doing, no matter what stage you're at. Much love x
  18. Seven/eight years ago, due to a peculiar set of circumstances, I ended up closing down the successful business I had founded. The loss of my business and financial resources lead to various problems in my life. About six years ago I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist put me on: Citalopram 10 mg/day. Axal (Alpralozam) 0.5 mg The immediate effect was that the anxiety disappeared. The depression got better (or at least the symptoms did), however I never returned to life of extreme activity like I had lead previously. About two years ago my medications were changed. Citalopram 10 mg twice a day i.e. 20 mg Effexor Xr 75 mg/day Axal 0.5 mg day. In these years I have tried quitting cold at least 4 times. Each time I had to go back on medications. The only success story is that I gave up Axal, a benzo, cold. I had no WD effects from giving up Axal. Today I only take Citalopram 20 mg and Effexor 75 mg. I must add that I also have Epilepsy since I was 13 years old. For the past 37 years I have been taking anti-epileptic drugs. My current drugs for Epilepsy are: Tegral 400 mg. Lumark 750 mg. These I cannot get rid off for obvious reasons. My only wish is to get off Citalopram and Effexor XR. I totally believe these do not help me. My anxiety has gone away, but I have this permanent listlessness. I was once an over-ambitious person and today I am totally flat. I don’t feel much emotions, and the desire to achieve success is gone. Failures and losses don't bother me either. This is not what and who I was. I’ve read many of the subjects here, including the wonderfully detailed Taper section. I do need your advice as to how I should approach my taper. Should I quit Effexor XR first or Citalopram? Any other advice on muti-drug taper would be welcome. PS: My daughter gets married in 3 months. I am planning to start a very low 5-10% taper immediately. Any advice? Thanks again.
  19. I have been suffering from this unique sleeping disorder. I dream whole night continuously and wake up exhausted every morning. Most of the people think it's any kind of psychological disorder even doctors just prescribe antidepressants and sleeping pills. Familly members are supportive but they could only give advice like wake early, do exercise. I nearly browsed the whole internet to get an ultimate cure for this problem but got nothing except "the change your routine"advice. There are many old forums where people discussed the similar problem but now they are closed without any conclusion. I have this problem from 2014 when I was doing my masters. During the final exams and due to other circumstances I felt some anxiety so went to a psychiatrist and he prescribed me 1.Imipramine 2.Diazapam 3.Trifluoperazine 4.Nitrazepam of different brands. After few days my exams over so I stopped taking pills suddenly from a night.From that night till today I didn't get a single dreamless sleep every morning wake up exhausted.there are many nights I did not get sleep at all. Since then I have visited many Allopathic, Homeopathic and Ayurvedic doctors, have tried several of medicines and supplements but nothing helped me. And you guys obviously aware of side effects especially in the case of allopathy like day drowsiness and brain fog.I also got my blood tested nothing significant but a deficiency of Vitamine D so started taking Vitamins. Till now no appeared benefits. It's like living in a hell, could do many things in life but first wanna get rid of this curse.I even tried spiritual ways. If you could help me in any way I will be highly grateful to you.
  20. Okay so I am currently 38 and I have been on anti-depressants since.. 18 maybe a bit younger. For the past 8 years (at least) I have been on effexor XR (Venlafaxine) on a dose between 150mg - 300mg - oin the higher end for about the past two years. Recently I started getting anxiety attacks, so the doctor put me on Mirtazopam but I read up on that and didn't like the sound of it. At around that time I saw glimpses of having a sex life in the future and the thing about Effexor is that while it hasn't decreased my libido, it takes me ages to orgasm, by which time all parties have somewhat lost interest. I have accepted that I may be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life, so I didn't consider just coming off them entirely. I spoke to my doctor and the result is that I am switching to Dothep (Duloxepine) 150 mg. But the process is complicated. 7 days on 150mg Effexor (down from 300) and 30 mg Mirtazopam. That is where I am currently. Then 7 days on 75 mg Effexor and 15 mg Mirtazopam. After that two days of nothing. Then start Dothep, 25mg, increasing by 25mg every two days. So far I have experienced: Giant, voracious hunger (this can’t be overstated, we are talking total compulsion). Agonising stomach cramps (admittedly after eating way too much) Bloating Heart palpitations/chest flutters Chest pain Really limited attention span Headache Dizziness/vertigo Limited tolerance for other people Anxiety Oddly though, my mood thus far has been pretty good with the exception of worrying about weight gain because I finally got to a weight I am happy with and I am not keen for that to change.
  21. So I dont know where to start, so i guess ill just jump right into it straight away. I'm a 21 year old guy and im in my 3rd year of university. I was prescribed Citalopram 10mg when i was 20 years old for anxiety. I never really had any depression or any other mental problem, apart from the anxiety, which kind of affected my life a bit. Nothing i couldnt manage, but still decided to try out SSRI's to see whether they would help. My doctor prescribed me 10mg Citalopram and it took a while for it to work, about 4 months. Honestly, i felt great after that period of time, i was still kinda myself, but without the constant worry and shortness of breath when i was in social situations, especially presentations and job interviews. Then, something went wrong. The anxiety was still under control and I felt very confident, but my emotions started becoming numb. I no longer felt happiness the same way, like i could still tell that i was happy, but it was like kinda meh happy. I stopped enjoying things i used to love, like gym, running, video games, writing music, etc. I kinda became complacent with everything, but not in a good way. I stopped striving for success, because i constantly had this fake euphoric feeling like everything is always gonna be alright, so i dont need to worry about achieving anything. Anyway, I went to my doctor again and got prescribed 20mg Citalopram after using 10mg for 6 months. That dosage didnt really do anything apart from introduce procrastination and anger. I became very snappy and always delayed everything until the last minute. (I used to be the type to finish everything on day 1 and then relax). That apathy feeling of not wanting do anything also increased. I just simply stayed patient, hoping that my brain will adjust to the new dosage. I waited 3 months and although i felt ok-ish, something felt off. Even my friends told me that i kinda became boring. I used to be this euphoric, overly excited class clown and then months later became this sleepy depressed guy. Also, got this crazy brain fog which made me really incompetent at things i used to excel at. Used to be a human calculator back in school, then after 9 months on SSRI's could barely do 7x7. My memory was impaired, libido non existent, ED, speech slur, and a bunch of other BS i never had. The worst part was that i could no longer write music. Before, i would be able to come up with lyrics in my head no problem, whereas after SSRI's, my brain was just silent, its like there was no thought processes going on in my skull anymore. Went to my doctor again, and tried a different SSRI. I got prescribed 100mg Sertaline and used that for 2 months, which kinda worked better than citalopram but when it did start working, i started experiencing withdrawals from Citalopram, which kinda oversaturated the effectiveness of this new SSRI. So I went back to doctor again and got prescribed 10mg Citalopram again, since that had the best effect on me in the first 4-6 months i started using them. Long story short, I started withdrawing due to minimising my dosage, so i kind of reached this F it moment and said "im done". I did a quick taper of 3 weeks. 2 weeks of 5mg and 1 week of 2.5 mg and i just quit. To make it clear, I did 6 months of 10mg Cit, 3 months of 20mg Cit, 2 months of 100mg Sert, and finished off with 10mg Cit again. This is where my visit to hell happened. Im going to keep this short for those who are like me and cant be bothered reading long paragraphs, so ill give you my withdrawal timeline. First 3.5 months - pure hell. Brain impairment, which included the usual things you hear. Crazy bain dog (I felt completely stupid, like an inexperienced 8 year old in a 21 year old body) All grades went down. Went from the brightest student, to an absolute abomination of a human. The worst symptom was irritability. The amount of arguments and things i broke in a span of 3.5 months is just crazy. Fought a bunch of men who tried dating my mother. Also started losing a bit of hair, which fortunately started growing back, and pretty much every other symptom you see here, like depersenalisation, dissociation, atpathy, etc. Around the 4 month mark, i started getting the windows and waves pattern. So there were days where i felt ok-ish and then other days where it was back to the pure hell experienced in the first 3.5 months. This lasted to about the month 5 month mark. Around 5 months, still windows and waves but now the windows were longer and waves shorter. Still experienced some brain fog and irritability. Around 5.75 month mark, my old personality started coming back. Irritability started vanishing. More positive outlook on life came back. IQ started increasing back up, so i no longer felt a bit daft. Actually started enjoying things again. Now, im around the 6.5 month mark, maybe 6.75 and i feel even better. I havent experienced that withdrawal feeling (YET). There are days where i feel a bit odd, like not myself but they only last a day, maximum two. To conclude, I feel like the major withdrawal symptoms are gone, because i felt good for the past month. Not a single anger outburst, or days where i have brain fog. One thing that i still struggle with is a bit of ED and low libido, but i feel like that will improve over time. I still have that voice in my head telling me that another huge wave might hit me down the line, which scares me quite a bit, but im already so far into this recovery process that i dont really give a damn. I feel like i have another 10-15% left to recover, but honeslty this will do, compared to what i've went through. Anyway, i hope this encourages some people, and helps you get through this atrocious mental state, because i feel like if the withdrawals lasted any longer, i doubt i'd still be here honeslty. I just wanted to share this for anyone losing hope like i did, when i watched a bunch of YouTube vids of people saying how their withdrawals were over after like a month, and then there was me just dying 5 months later. Ps. Ignore the horrible grammar, i was typing this super fast.
  22. Servadai's Introduction topic Hey guys! Long time no hear - my signature says I'm 3 years off but this year, on 10th of July I 'celebrated' my 5 years off of AD's. I would change my signature but I don't know how - that being said I'm loving what you did with the site. I'm going to try to write this with a bit of humour, because that is my style, so if you find it a bit 'aggressive' please know this was not my intent, and the sole purpose for writing this is because I care about all of you and empathise deeply with all of you. I know how it feels when your brain feels like it's been replaced with a piece of fried chicken (even though I'm afraid that even a fried chicken is an euphemism). My story short - I cold turkeyed 10 mgs of escitalopram (some of you may know it as Lexapro). My life completely changes shortly after and I entered what was an absolute hell for me (seriously, I'm catholic and that's what my version of hell would look like). Thankfully, I am doing a lot better now and I wanted to share a couple of things I learned along the way. I still suffer from anxiety, as I did before WD, it is worse than it was but it's nowhere near WD nightmare. I am not on any kind of medication and the only supplement I use is Omega3. Here are some of the things, and if I remember something later I will edit or write in the comments. DON'T GOOGLE STUFF. For the love of God, don't do it. If you're new here, there is plenty of sound advice in topic named 'Read this first' and in my opinion that is enough. Now when I say don't google stuff I mean don't google every symptom, every emotion, every fear and thought and overanalyse it. I promise you 99.99999 % of everything you feel and experience in WD is COMPLETELY NORMAL. Imagine your brain as a very stressed person trying to find best solutions and having to run the household (your body)... of course it's going to act wacky. It's not worth stressing it out further by reading into stuff and imagining even worse case scenarios. If you want to google kittens, puppies, babies, watch pretty youtube videos or just listen to calming music be my guest. But DON'T👏 GOOGLE 👏 YOUR 👏 SYMPTOMS 👏 TAKE IT SLOW. Your brain is working so fast your body might try to mimic that. I know my body did, and I still do it sometimes, if I'm not aware. I don't know if this happens to you but when I get stressed I breathe fast, brush my teeth fast, eat fast, comb my hair fast... as if someone put a ticking bomb on all of those things. Try to be more aware and when you notice that, take a deep breath, and start over - gently, slowly. Do everything with great care and gentleness. Your body and brain need it. When you show your brain you're not in a rush, brain will take it slowly too. I know it's a problem in WD - it feels like you have an neverending supply of adrenaline - but hey, baby steps. Try do it for 5 minutes a day. INSOMNIA. This bastard made me really mad. Sleep was the only way I could escape the WD nightmare, but it rarely came. I remember trying to fall asleep for hours, just to wake up at 4 or 5 am. not being able to fall asleep again. When I couldn't sleep, naturally, I thought about how I can't sleep. I worried and worried instead of trying to utilise that time. The best advice given to me was - if you can't fall asleep just chill. Your body will find a way to get energy from that too. Imagine you're on a beach, the sound of waves, the hot sand on your feet, warm sun, smell of salt and pine... you get it. Imagine happy (well..happyish) scenarios - I imagined what will I do after the WD is over and how I'll be able to help and understand someone. Try to occupy your thoughts as much as you can as not to fall in to the 'Oh God why can't I sleep' rabbit hole. NEURO-EMOTIONS. Don't run away from them. Don't be afraid of them. Embrace them. Cry. Scream in your pillow. Jump in utter rage. Aggressively punch the mattress. Write it down and rip the paper. Welcome your fears with open arms. Neuro emotions scared me but now I see them as a way of brain restarting itself. Like pushing random buttons to see what works and you just have to deal with it. It opened a very strong traumas for me again that antidepressants and teenage way of life buried so I had to actually face them and go through them. It was horrible, but maybe necessary? WORK OUT. Aggressive workout in the middle of WD hell? Only if you're absolutely comfortable. Otherwise, I don't recommend it. On the other hand, if you want to stay in bed all day, try to fight that urge. Try to walk at least 5 minutes (even in your small apartment, you don't have to go out), do a half a squat, lift your hands, whatever, just try to be at least little bit active. There's tons of studies that show how exercising improves mental health - there's not much to say here. CREATIVITY. At my worst I really couldn't do anything. TV was too stimulating and loud, my biggest achievement was playing Mahjong on my smartphone for 2 minutes. Everything above that and I would get extremely tired. I didn't smile, sleep, eat, I just wanted to die. Luckily, as soon as I got a bit better I've decided to do anything to not think about what I'm going through even if the bliss lasted for a second. I was baking, gardening, drawing, writing... notice how all of this is with hands. Put everything you got into feeling what you're doing with your hands. Even now when I get stressed I look around me for objects and imagine what kind of texture would they be like if I touched them. DP/DR. There are no words in human language to express how much I hated those feelings. I still do. But I've come a long way. Let's say they were at 100%. Now they're at about 50% when I'm really stressed. 20-30% in normal situations, because I still have an anxiety, and it's just a poopy symptom I have to accept. DR is actually what I'm feeling, DP was problematic, but now I can't remember when I truly had it. They don't occupy my life anymore, and I'm not so afraid of them as I was. My best advice about them would be: Don't be afraid. It feels like the world is falling apart but they're just symptoms of mental disorders and WD. They are absolutely harmless. The best you can do for yourself and your brain is to accept those feelings. Say it out loud: DP/DR I accept you. I know you're just symptoms of my brain working overtime and that's okay. I know my brain is trying its best to protect me and I am grateful for that. I accept you. If this post gives just a bit of hope or brings a bit of comfort to anyone - I'm so glad. I remember rereading the same success stories here over and over again when I was at my worst. They were literally ropes I hold on to. I know what you're going to is hard, but please, please, hold on. Living with this honestly means you're the bravest of the brave. Seriously, everyone here on this forum is one heck of a soldier. You don't even know how strong you are. I was pooping my pants when I was getting into college, I was still in WD... and next year I'm going to finish it. So please, hold on, and live day by day. There are probably more things I would write about, my faith being one of the most important things that helped me (and still does). I might write about it if anyone is interested, but I'm sorry I can only write from my religion's (catholic) perspective. So if anyone is interested let me know. I also run an IG page for catholics dealing with anxiety so if you're interested shoot me a message (I don't want to put it here because I think it would be considered a self-promo). I wanted to open that page for a year now - if you read my post, what was a comforting for me was imagining I could help someone some day who is going through the same stuff as I do. So I finally did it and honestly, it is a nice creative outlet. I have no doubt there will be some future gems from this page that were molded by suffering - Gold is purified by fire. **english is not my first language, so please excuse any errors.
  23. Hi everyone, To make a short story, I have been on Effexor for a very short period. I had to stop it because of invalidating side effects. 48h after the last pills I have developed new effects, including the fact that I cant see straight, it is very difficult for me to read, my eyes burn, sting and twitch because they are so dry. I also have a bunch of other problems that comes and go. As I have problem reading, I would like to know if anyone would want to talk maybe on skype about their experience. It is been 3 months since and my family and friends are getting tired of earring me complain about it and sometimes I am not even sure they believe me. I would also like to know if anyone have official documentation about those long term side effects. I have my own business and I am loosing a lot of money every month. I want to build a lawsuit but every doctor I have seen says it is IMPOSSIBLE that my new health condition is related with the use of Effexor. But I only took it for 5 days and was very sick on the day after I stopped and woke up with eyes issues 48h hours after the last pill. Everything I have built in my life has crumble within 1 week! I went to see an eye doctor and I have nothing else then chronic dry eyes witch could explain partly my bad sight but there is no cure for that.
  24. I have been here before. I had my first manic episode after a steroid psychosis while withdrawing from Zoloft. After going off meds I had one again about a year later. I was medicated but always following an episode comes a great depression, a great worry about life and a disappearance of personality. Has anyone experienced this? I was manic and had to be medicated. I have a energy healer that works with me and says for now I must be on them. Its the path. I am totally unstable. But I would love some support from others that have gone through this pattern. I feel so alone.
  25. 36year old man. Married, no kids. I've been on SSRIs for 15 years now. I've been tapering off them for 5 years. Effexor was what I took for depression, anxiety. From 2004-2014 I gradually took more and more until I got to a point where I couldn't be prescribed a higher dose (can't remember specific, will ask doctor). The plan was to get onto a different ssri, but I had to taper down to a lower dose before I could bridge with prozac. The withdrawal was awful and the more I learned about psychotropic drugs the more I wanted off completely. I have strong feelings of worthlessness and shame. I'm embarrassed to look anyone in the eye. I've exercised, meditated, changed my diet, take supplements, see a therapist, i've established a support network, cbt, affirmations, rigid self care program. Still hate myself. Still get suicidal thoughts. I want to try life with no antidepressants. Maybe that's it. I think it's actually the drugs that are keeping my depression from lifting. I hope. I've been aware of the forum for years and finally decided to post. I feel alone in this withdrawal from time to time. I haven't been to a support group in months. My phone never rings and I like it that way. I want to hide from everyone. I don't know anyone else quitting their meds. Feels like I'm losing my identity and I just don't care enough to build it back.
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